• 2016.08.23
  • Pfaueninsel
Finally Berlin is getting warmer.

As the city heats up, the Berliners are leaving for the cooler natural environment.

The outskirts of Berlin have a special charm as they are blessed with a number of lakes and I also like to leave the city on the weekends.

When the summers’ sunshine begins to take a hold, people shift their daily to the outside. The tables that cafés and restaurants line up, are crowded with people and also in the parks you can find everyone enjoying the sun. Unlike winter, people are open, in a good mood and more talklative than usually. As summer in Berlin is not very long it seems that everyone wants to make the most of this short season.

Although I personally prefer other seasons to summer, in Berlin it has a very unique atmosphere.

There are plenty of outdoor pools, but you just can’t compare them to swimming in a lake. Last weekend I went to Havel River for the first time this year. For me the river was still too cold to go swimming, but it felt good, even just to be next to the water.

Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) is an island located in the middle of Havel River. With its’ only 500m width and 1500m length it is a small, but very beautifully place.

It is very convenient to be reached by bus or car, as you can stop close to the ferry, but on a nice day you can also go there by bike and then take the small ferry to cross to this ferrytale-like world.

Although it does not lie far from the riverbank, for many centuries people had not been allowed to come close to this small island.

In the beginning a rabbit breeding station was set up in order to stock up the national treasury of the Elector, later, after the Thirty Years’ War, for a while a glass manufactory was established there. Later, at the behest of Kind Friedrich Wilhelm II a white chateau was constructed on the island between 1794 and 1797. This palace remains one of the characteristic features of the island until today.

In this small palace on the remote island the King met his mistress or retreated to enjoy the quiet.

Although from afar it has the appearance of a small castle, if you have a closer look at the building, it is a wooden construction which is painted to make it look as made out of stones.

The palace at Pfaueninsel

The cavaliers house, which can be seen in a lot of movies

The building is framed by two towers that are connected with a bridge, which nowadays is made out of steal, but originally used to be wooden.

Even though the castle somewhat feels like a papier mache scenery construction, the interior is luxurious and especially the main hall conveys a classicist ambience.

The entire Pfaueninsel was designed by the renowed landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné, but unlike garden, this place has a very natural atmosphere. The garden which got constructed between 1821 und 1834 was modeled on English landscape gardens and additionally a variety of fauna and flora got introduced.

That time rare monkeys, kangaroos and lions were kept there until they were moved to the newly founded Berlin Zoo in 1842.

A fountain

Beside the palace there are several other buildings on the island, as well as an aviary. However the birds that gave name to the island can not only be found in the aviary.

Anywhere on the island you can see these beautiful creatures with their long tail feathers slowly and gracefully crossing your way.
A peacock sitting on top of the aviary

In generally you are not allowed to leave the tracks, but there is one special lawn, close to a small stand selling food and drinks, where you can sit down, relax and enjoy the sun.

Further to the gardeners, that live on this otherwise inhabited island, there are four water buffalos helping them with trimming the lawns in an cut-off section of the lawns.

Water buffalo

Even though it is a bit far, it is worth taking the time to visit Pfaueninsel , with its scenery that constructs the illusion of being in a natural landscape, and spend some hours like the ancient rulers did, immersed in another world.


  • Mara Groner
  • AgeRat( NEZUMI )
  • GenderFemale
  • JobResearcher, Tour guide

Although I was born and raised in south Germany, I’ve been living for about 10 years in Berlin where I also work as a tour guide. In this dynamic city there is always something to discover.

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